One of the problems that a child with ADHD has to face is impulsiveness. These children find it difficult to wait their turn in a conversation, they often respond even before they finish asking them questions. the question and they act without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Acting on impulse, they can get into trouble, so one of the workhorses of parents is precisely teaching them to behave more reflective. How to achieve it?
7 strategies to make your child more reflective
1. Lead by example
Children, especially when they are young, learn a lot by imitation. And parents are their main role models. If parents interrupt in the middle of a conversation, get irritated when they have to wait in line, or lose patience and yell at the child, the child will think that impulsiveness is allowed. On the contrary, when parents are patient people and know how to manage their emotions, they will become a good example to follow.
2. Teach him to wait
Impulsivity is basically an inability to inhibit certain responses. Therefore, to make the child more reflective, a good strategy is to teach him to be patient and wait for her turn. His main problem is usually that he gets bored while waiting, so it is important that you anticipate this impatience and have some colored pencils handy for him to draw or one of his favorite games. You can also propose sets of rules, in which you must wait your turn, and not attend to him as soon as he calls you out, ask him to wait a few minutes and then reward him for having been patient.
3. Ignore negative behaviors
According to the extinction principle, all behaviors that don’t get attention eventually go away. As long as the behavior isn’t too serious, you can ignore it, this way you will not reinforce it. In fact, he considers that parental attention, even if it comes in the form of scolding, can also reinforce certain negative behaviors.
4. Applies punishments proportional to the infraction
When the behavior is punishable, apply the punishment immediately because if you postpone it, it will lose its effectiveness, especially when it comes to young children or with ADHD. Also, make sure that the punishment is appropriate to the magnitude of the offense, do not exaggerate the consequences. A short punishment that the child can comply with is always better.
5. Give clear instructions
Children with ADHD often forget instructions because they haven’t been paying enough attention. Therefore, it is important that you make sure that he is listening to you while you speak. In the same way, you should give him precise and short directions. For example, if you ask him to run some errands, it would be better if you write down on a piece of paper the things he needs to buy. It is also important that you make sure that he has understood the guidelines, especially when it comes to new aspects, in that case, ask him to repeat them.
6. Promotes internal language
Internal language, which reaches a good level of development at age 7, helps the child to regulate her behavior and inhibit certain responses. However,in ADHD this skill is not highly developed, so you will have to enhance it. An excellent technique is cognitive modeling: first you must be its model and indicate aloud all the steps of the activity you are doing, then you should ask your child to do the same. At first, they will do it out loud, then quietly, and finally in their mind. Through these self-instructions, the child learn to plan the activity and manage to stay focused, without skipping any step in the achievement.
7. Teach him to control his emotions
Children find it difficult to detect and regulate their emotions, so the first step is to teach them to recognize them. When he’s angry, frustrated, or irritated, let him know. Then, explain to him that when he begins to feel this way, he should stop. In this sense, the “turtle technique” is an excellent tool to enhance emotional self-control and keep impulsiveness at bay.